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Ally McBeal, on FOX
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streaming sites: Hulu

This ran for five seasons, but I don't know if I watched much more than the first. I did find it reasonably entertaining for awhile, though. It was set at the Boston law firm Cage & Fish, and crossed over at least once with The Practice. It starred Calista Flockhart as Ally McBeal, one of the lawyers at the firm. There was also Greg Germann as Richard Fish and Peter MacNicol as John Cage. And Jane Krakowski as Elaine Vassal. And, hell, there were a bunch of characters. Renée Raddick, Billy Thomas (Ally's former boyfriend, if I recall), Billy's current wife Georgia Thomas (Courtney Thorne-Smith), Nelle Porter (Portia de Rossi), Ling Woo (Lucy Liu), and... I dunno, lots of people. I recall Christina Ricci being in the show, briefly.

The show is often considered anti-feminist, in a way, though the only reason I'm aware of for that is that Ally wore some pretty short skirts. And maybe because of her ideas about romance. And motherhood. I don't really remember it that well, but I never saw it as anti-feminist. Ally was kind of... scattered... but so were most of the characters, particularly the firm's senior partners, Cage and Fish. John Cage, in particular, is one of the oddest lawyers ever, probably even more so than any of the lawyers on Boston Legal. The show is also famous for the fact that, at least early on, Ally occasionally had hallucinations of a CGI baby which danced to the song "Hooked on a Feeling." Oh, and the law firm had a unisex bathroom. These are just a couple of the many quirky aspects of the show. Yes, it could be very, very ridiculous, in oh so many ways. Including the kinds of cases the lawyers tried. I should also say the characters often gathered at a bar where there was a singer played by Vonda Shepard, whose song "Searchin' My Soul" was the show's theme song. I definitely liked that and pretty much all her songs from the show, so I eventually got the soundtrack... but kind of lost interest. However, years later I did get a Christmas CD from the show, which I rather like. Can't really think what else to say, except that the show was sort of parodied in an episode of Futurama.

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